Reducing wind energy forecast uncertainty through improved measurements and modeling
The lack of measurement data in the blade layer does not mean that none exists. Besides a few tall towers that have long-term records at isolated sites, some high-quality measurements of flow aloft are available through short-term field programs. Field-project datasets sampling this layer have provided insight into the types of flow phenomena occurring in key geographic areas of importance to wind energy. In this study we review the structure and evolution of several types of flow from Doppler-lidar studies in the U.S. Great Plains and in complex terrain. For more than 20 years NOAA /ESRL has been performing Doppler-lidar studies of complex-terrain flows focusing on the lowest few hundred meters of the atmosphere, and for nearly a decade, pursuing studies of the Great Plains low-level jet and its relationship to the stable boundary layer and to wind energy. Based on these findings we explore the kinds of enhancement to measurement and NWP capabilities that would be required to improve the accuracy of predictions to the degree required to make wind energy a grid-friendly contributor to the national energy portfolio.